Brian Castner is a graduate in electrical engineering of Marquette University who recieved a Bronze Star for his bomb-disposal service in the Iraq War as an officer in the Air Force. He is the author of two books, The Long Walk (2012) and All the Ways We Kill and Die (2016). His journalism and commentary have appeared in Vice, The Daily Beast, The New York Times, GQ, The Washington Post, Outside, LitHub, The Atlantic, and other publications. The Long Walk was adapted as an opera that has been performed at prestigious venues nationwide.